24 years on, Iron Maiden's debut album still remains as some of the most compelling and diverse material the band ever recorded. From NWOBHM rockers such as opener "Prowler", more melodic introspective moments ("remember tomorrow", "strange world"), the glorious proto-epic "Phantom of the Opera" and the almost danceably catchy "Running Free", every track here is stoked in the furnace of Maiden's East London beginnings. The album has received some criticism for the lack of production values, however, I think the raw edginess suits the nature of the songs very accordingly. Similarly, many people dismiss this album as it does not feature Bruce Dickinson, but his predecessor, Paul Dianno. Once again, that would be a mistake, as Paul's leering, earthy charm is perfectly suited to the material on the disk. Although most people will instantly think of Steve Harris' distinctive bass playing, Dave Murray's bluesy guitar sound is just as much a defining part of the primordial Maiden sound, as evidenced through his solos in Charlotte the Harlot and Phantom of the Opera to name two personal highlights. Essential Maiden.